Patricia Vickers-Rich

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Patricia Arlene Vickers-Rich AO (born 11 July 1944), also sometimes known as Patricia Rich, is an Australian palaeontologist and ornithologist of American origin. She has published several award-winning books on popular science. She is married to palaeontologist Tom Rich. Together the couple described the small herbivorous dinosaur Leaellynasaura, naming it after their daughter, Leaellyn Rich.

Education and career[edit]

Vickers-Rich was born and educated in the United States. She obtained a BA in paleontology in 1966 at the University of Berkeley, and an MA in geology in 1969 and PhD in 1973 at Columbia University. She migrated to Australia in 1976, since when she has held a succession of academic positions at Monash University, Melbourne.[1]

Career and professional positions[edit]

  • 1963–1965 – Zooarchaeologist at the Nevada State Museum
  • 1963–1965 – Research Assistant in Paleontology at the University of California
  • 1968–1969 – Teaching Assistant in Geology at Columbia University, New York City
  • 1970 – Field Ecologist with the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica
  • 1972 – Paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York
  • 1973–1976 – Assistant Professor and Associate Curator at Texas Tech University and Museum
  • 1976–1983 – Lecturer in Earth Sciences at Monash
  • 1977 – Research Associate in Ornithology at the Museum of Victoria
  • 1984–1989 – Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences and Zoology at Monash
  • 1989–1995 – Reader in Departments of Earth Sciences, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, at Monash
  • 1992–1993 – Deputy Head of Earth Sciences at Monash
  • 1992–1994 – Vice President of the Australian Association of Palaeontologists
  • 1993 – Foundation Director of the Monash Science Centre
  • 1994–1995 – President Elect of the Australian Association of Palaeontologists
  • 1995 – Research Associate at Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston, Tasmania
  • 1995 – Professor and Personal Chair in Palaeontology at Monash
  • 1996 – Member of the International Academy of Sciences of Nature and Society in Moscow
  • 1997–1998 – President of the Australian Association of Palaeontologists
  • 1998 – Research Associate in Vertebrate Palaeontology and Ornithology at the Museum of Victoria
  • 2004 – Research Associate in the Laboratory of Precambrian Organisms at the Paleontological Institute in Moscow


As well as numerous scientific papers, books authored or co-authored by Vickers-Rich include:

  • 1985 – Kadimakara: Extinct Vertebrates of Australia. Pioneer Design Studio. ISBN 978-0909674267
  • 1987 – A Chinese-English and English-Chinese Dictionary of Vertebrate Palaeontology Terms. Monash University: Melbourne.
  • 1989 – The Fossil Book: A Record of Prehistoric Life. (With Thomas Hewitt Rich, Mildred Adams Fenton and Carroll Lane Fenton). Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-19327-0
  • 1991 – Vertebrate Palaeontology of Australia. (With J.M. Monaghan, R.F. Baird, and T.H. Rich (eds)). Monash University: Melbourne. ISBN 0-909674-36-1
  • 1992 – Australia Long, Long Ago (The Southeast, Victoria): a Geological Story. (With Leaellyn Rich and Kerrie Auslebrook). Paleoscriptis: Melbourne.
  • 1993 – Wildlife of Gondwana: Dinosaurs and Other Vertebrates from the Ancient Supercontinent. (With Thomas Hewitt Rich). Indiana University Press: Bloomington. ISBN 0-253-33643-0
  • 1994 – The ICI Australia catalogue of the Great Russian Dinosaurs Exhibition 1993-1995. (With Thomas H. Rich). ICI Australia: North Melbourne. ISBN 0-7326-0503-2
  • 1996 – Australia's Lost World: A History of Australia's Backboned Animals. (With Leaellyn Suzanne Rich and Thomas Hewitt Rich). Kangaroo Press: Sydney. ISBN 0-86417-798-4
  • 1997 – Fossil collector's guide. (With J. Reid Macdonald, Mary Lee Macdonald, Leaellyn S. V. Rich, and Thomas H. Rich). Kangaroo Press: Sydney. ISBN 086417845X
  • 2000 – Dinosaurs of Darkness. (With Thomas Hewitt Rich). Indiana University Press: Bloomington. ISBN 0-253-33773-9
  • 2003 – A Century of Australian Dinosaurs. (With Thomas H. Rich). Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery Publications: Launceston. ISBN 0-9586203-6-9
  • 2003 – Magnificent Mihirungs: The Colossal Flightless Birds of the Australian Dreamtime. (With Peter Murray). Indiana University Press: Bloomington. ISBN 0253342821
  • 2007 – The Rise And Fall Of The Ediacaran Biota. (With P. Komarower). Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 286. ISBN 978-1-86239-233-5
  • 2008 – The Rise of Animals: Evolution and Diversification of the Kingdom Animalia. (With Mikhail A. Fedonkin, James G. Gehling, Kathleen Grey and Guy M. Narbonne). Johns Hopkins Press. ISBN 0-8018-8679-1
  • 2010 – The Artist and the Scientists: Bringing Prehistory to Life. (With Thomas Hewitt Rich and Peter Trusler). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-16299-8
  • 2012 – The Flight: Boris S. Sokolov. Natural History and Paleontology in the Changing Landscape of 20th and Early 21st Century Russia. (with B. S. Sokolov) Paleontological Society of India, Lucknow.

Literary awards[edit]

  • 1993 – Eureka Prize for Wildlife of Gondwana
  • 1993 – Michael Daley Award for Excellence in Science Technology and Engineering Journalism
  • 1994 – Whitley Medal for best book on the natural history of Australian animals for Wildlife of Gondwana
  • 2000 – Eureka Prize for Dinosaurs of Darkness
  • 2004 – Whitley Medal for best book on the natural history of Australian animals for Magnificent Mihirungs


  1. ^ Walker, Rosanne; & Alafaci, Annette (27 March 2007). "Vickers-Rich, Patricia". Biographical entry. Encyclopedia of Australian Science. Retrieved 6 April 2012.